Cinzia Valente

Abstracts

1 Unaccompanied Children: An Overview on National and European Law

Authors: Cinzia Valente

Abstract:

Over the last few years, national legislators have been forced to deal with social changes that have had important repercussions in family law and children’s law. This growing focus on minors has provoked important reforms, specifically on issues relating to the welfare and protection of children. My presentation focuses on the issue of migrant children in particular I refer to unaccompanied children, or ‘children on the move’, or separate children or any other term defining migrant minors who cross national borders seeking protection or better opportunities. They arrive often illegally, on the European territory without a responsible adult who take care of them. There is a common assumption that migrants are running away from conflicts, poverty and human rights abuse and they arrive in a foreign country hoping a better life; children without persons who takes care of them encounter some difficulties in their integration in the host country. The migration flows recorded in recent decades towards EU countries, and Italy in particular, have imposed an intense pressure to modernize institutions, services and specific legal frameworks, with the aim of responding adequately to the needs of foreign individuals, as well as ensuring a good level of living standards and facilitating integration, especially for migrant children. The object of my paper is the analysis of the Italian rules, practices and services existing in favor of unaccompanied children (foster care, reunification, acquisition of citizenship and other) in comparison with other European legal systems on the same thematic with a comparative method. Highlighting European standards to find common principles for the best solution to children's problems is the conclusive aim of my presentation.

Keywords: Migration, Children, Family Law, Uniform Law

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